Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Tampa: Anarchist Reality vs Media Fantasy

Well I'm convinced, time to declare Martial Law

 I've been watching a bits and pieces of coverage of the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa Florida. In a word its been very weird, from an ageing rambling Clint admonishing an empty chair (Alzheimer's claims another victim?) to Ann Romney redundantly telling women that her husband loves all of them (must resist Mormon joke). However one thing of note that cropped up time and again was the need to sensationalise the ridiculous amount of security the RNC had. I get their important political figures and the Republican party isn't the most popular guys and gals right now, but do the police really need tanks with the turrets cut off?

Look at this thing, it be more useful in Iraq 2003 leading the invasion

But it soon became quite clear that yes the not tanks and the thousands of riot police and National Guardsmen were necessary. For you see theirs a spectre hauting Tampa and that spectre is.... V cosplayers I mean Anarchists. Red and black flag waving Anarchists. Now this shouldn't be that surprising, its been an old and well worn trick when a society is experiencing uncomfortable (for the top dogs anyway) levels of unrest be they strikes, marches, riots, alternative music festivals etc. to blame it on the "Reds" which are the Communists, Socialists, Anarchists the Feminists and occasionally ethnic minority support groups. In fact their was even a poem about this old scaremongering composed in New Zealand in the 20's

"The Popular Scapegoat

If a boiler blows up or a steamer goes down
Or somebody curses the Cross or the Crown
To find out the culprit, no, don’t let it trouble you
Put it all down to the Eye Double Double -You

The Eye Double Double-You refers to the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World). So yeah this is a pretty old game and the media plays its part well. But what about Tampa 2012? well as you can see below the media loves to beat dead horses as much as it does scapegoating radicals.

 The Fantasy

Did you catch that? after over 3 minutes of fast editing up tempo background music and shot after shot of unrelated scenes of escalating violence and weirdos in Guy Fawkes (More like V for Vendetta) masks they admit they have no evidence of a specific threat. So why were they showing us all that footage and telling us about acid filled eggs (Is that even possible?) sure seemed specific to me. In fact the only "evidence" they found was in the picture at the top more V imagery this time as graffiti, a compelling case I know. Leaving aside the gigantic leaps in logic you'd have to take to go from one guy/girl graffiti's a wall = the revolution, what really gets me about this, is that the above news report is exactly the sort of thing the Day Today and Brass Eye used to do, and they were satire.

To be fair this does look like a scene from V for Vendetta too

The Reality

To be even more fairer the news anchors of America Anarchists were present at the RNC protests and did plan and carry out some activities, unfortunately for the camera crews instead of street battles with the riot police the Anarchists clean up some streets and a local park. I don't know whether to find this gulf between reality and mass media fiction is funny or sad. Its probably a mix of both.

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